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S. T. Coleridge - The d**h of Wallenstein (Act 5 Scene 3) lyrics

A saloon, terminated by a gallery, which extends far
into the background.

WALLENSTIN sitting at a table. The SWEDISH CAPTAIN
standing before him.

WALLENSTEIN.
Commend me to your lord. I sympathize
In his good fortune; and if you have seen me
Deficient in the expressions of that joy,
Which such a victory might well demand,
Attribute it to no lack of good-will,
For henceforth are our fortunes one. Farewell,
And for your trouble take my thanks. To-morrow
The citadel shall be surrendered to you
On your arrival.

[The SWEDISH CAPTAIN retires. WALLENSTEIN sits lost in thought,his eyes fixed vacantly, and his head sustained by his hand. The COUNTESS TERZKY enters, stands before him for awhile, unobserved by him; at length he starts, sees her and recollects himself.

WALLENSTEIN.
Comest thou from her? Is she restored? How is she?

COUNTESS.
My sister tells me she was more collected
After her conversation with the Swede.
She has now retired to rest.

WALLENSTEIN.
The pang will soften
She will shed tears.

COUNTESS.
I find thee altered, too,
My brother! After such a victory
I had expected to have found in thee
A cheerful spirit. Oh, remain thou firm!
Sustain, uphold us! For our light thou art,
Our sun.

WALLENSTEIN.
Be quiet. I ail nothing. Where's
Thy husband?

COUNTESS.
At a banquet—he and Illo.

WALLENSTEIN (rises and strides across the saloon).
The night's far spent. Betake thee to thy chamber.

COUNTESS.
Bid me not go, oh, let me stay with thee!

WALLENSTEIN
(moves to the window).
There is a busy motion in the heaven,
The wind doth chase the flag upon the tower,
Fast sweep the clouds, the sickle 11 of the moon,
Struggling, darts snatches of uncertain light.
No form of star is visible! That one
White stain of light, that single glimmering yonder,
Is from Ca**iopeia, and therein
Is Jupiter. (A pause.) But now
The blackness of the troubled element hides him!

[He sinks into profound melancholy, and looks vacantly
into the distance.

COUNTESS
(looks on him mournfully, then grasps his hand).
What art thou brooding on?

WALLENSTEIN.
Methinks
If I but saw him, 'twould be well with me.
He is the star of my nativity,
And often marvellously hath his aspect
Shot strength into my heart.

COUNTESS.
Thou'lt see him again.

WALLENSTEIN
(remains for awhile with absent mind, then a**umes a livelier
manner, and turning suddenly to the COUNTESS).
See him again? Oh, never, never again!

COUNTESS.
How?

WALLENSTEIN.
He is gone—is dust.

COUNTESS.
Whom meanest thou, then?

WALLENSTEIN.
He, the more fortunate! yea, he hath finished!
For him there is no longer any future,
His life is bright—bright without spot it was,
And cannot cease to be. No ominous hour
Knocks at his door with tidings of mishap,
Far off is he, above desire and fear;
No more submitted to the change and chance
Of the unsteady planets. Oh, 'tis well
With him! but who knows what the coming hour
Veiled in thick darkness brings us?

COUNTESS.
Thou speakest of Piccolomini. What was his d**h?
The courier had just left thee as I came.

[WALLENSTEIN by a motion of his hand makes signs to her
to be silent.

Turn not thine eyes upon the backward view,
Let us look forward into sunny days,
Welcome with joyous heart the victory,
Forget what it has cost thee. Not to-day,
For the first time, thy friend was to thee dead;
To thee he died when first he parted from thee.

WALLENSTEIN.
This anguish will be wearied down 12, I know;
What pang is permanent with man? From the highest,
As from the vilest thing of every day,
He learns to wean himself: for the strong hours
Conquer him. Yet I feel what I have lost
In him. The bloom is vanished from my life,
For oh, he stood beside me, like my youth,
Transformed for me the real to a dream,
Clothing the palpable and the familiar
With golden exhalations of the dawn,
Whatever fortunes wait my future toils,
The beautiful is vanished—and returns not.

COUNTESS.
Oh, be not treacherous to thy own power.
Thy heart is rich enough to vivify
Itself. Thou lovest and prizest virtues in him,
The which thyself didst plant, thyself unfold.

[Lyrics from: https:/lyrics.az/s-t-coleridge/-/the-d**h-of-wallenstein-act-5-scene-3.html]
WALLENSTEIN
(stepping to the door).
Who interrupts us now at this late hour?
It is the governor. He brings the keys
Of the citadel. 'Tis midnight. Leave me, sister!

COUNTESS.
Oh, 'tis so hard to me this night to leave thee;
A boding fear possesses me!

WALLENSTEIN.
Fear! Wherefore?

COUNTESS.
Shouldst thou depart this night, and we at waking
Never more find thee!

WALLENSTEIN.
Fancies!

COUNTESS.
Ob, my soul
Has long been weighed down by these dark forebodings,
And if I combat and repel them waking,
They still crush down upon my heart in dreams,
I saw thee, yesternight with thy first wife
Sit at a banquet, gorgeously attired.

WALLENSTHIN.
This was a dream of favorable omen,
That marriage being the founder of my fortunes.

COUNTESS.
To-day I dreamed that I was seeking thee
In thy own chamber. As I entered, lo!
It was no more a chamber: the Chartreuse
At Gitschin 'twas, which thou thyself hast founded,
And where it is thy will that thou shouldst be
Interred.

WALLENSTEIN.
Thy soul is busy with these thoughts.

COUNTESS.
What! dost thou not believe that oft in dreams
A voice of warning speaks prophetic to us?

WALLENSTEIN.
There is no doubt that there exist such voices,
Yet I would not call them
Voices of warning that announce to us
Only the inevitable. As the sun,
Ere it is risen, sometimes paints its image
In the atmosphere, so often do the spirits
Of great events stride on before the events,
And in to-day already walks to-morrow.
That which we read of the fourth Henry's d**h
Did ever vex and haunt me like a tale
Of my own future destiny. The king
Felt in his breast the phantom of the knife
Long ere Ravaillac armed himself therewith.
His quiet mind forsook him; the phantasma
Started him in his Louvre, chased him forth
Into the open air; like funeral knells
Sounded that coronation festival;
And still with boding sense he heard the tread
Of those feet that even then were seeking him
Throughout the streets of Paris.

COUNTESS.
And to thee
The voice within thy soul bodes nothing?

WALLENSTEIN.
Nothing.
Be wholly tranquil.

COUNTESS.
And another time
I hastened after thee, and thou rann'st from me
Through a long suite, through many a spacious hall.
There seemed no end of it; doors creaked and clapped;
I followed panting, but could not overtake thee;
When on a sudden did I feel myself
Grasped from behind,—the hand was cold that grasped me;
'Twas thou, and thou didst kiss me, and there seemed
A crimson covering to envelop us.

WALLENSTEIN.
That is the crimson tapestry of my chamber.

COUNTESS
(gazing on him).
If it should come to that—if I should see thee,
Who standest now before me in the fulness
Of life——

[She falls on his breast and weeps.

WALLENSTEIN.
The emperor's proclamation weighs upon thee—
Alphabets wound not—and he finds no hands.

COUNTESS.
If he should find them, my resolve is taken—
I bear about me my support and refuge.

[Exit COUNTESS.


Footnotes:

11 These four lines are expressed in the original with exquisite
felicity:—

Am Himmel ist geschaeftige Bewegung.
Des Thurmes Fahne jagt der Wind, schnell geht
Der Wolken Zug, die Mondessichel wankt
Und durch die Nacht zuckt ungewisse Helle.

The word "moon-sickle" reminds me of a pa**age in Harris, as quoted
by Johnson, under the word "falcated." "The enlightened part of the
moon appears in the form of a sickle or reaping-hook, which is while
she is moving from the conjunction to the opposition, or from the
new moon to the full: but from full to a new again the enlightened
part appears gibbous, and the dark falcated."

The words "wanken" and "schweben" are not easily translated. The
English words, by which we attempt to render them, are either vulgar
or antic, or not of sufficiently general application. So "der
Wolken Zug"—The Draft, the Procession of Clouds. The Ma**es of the
Clouds sweep onward in swift stream.

12 A very inadequate translation of the original:—

Verschmerzen werd' ich diesen Schlag, das weiss ich,
Denn was verschmerzte nicht der Mensch!

LITERALLY.

I shall grieve down this blow, of that I'm conscious:
What does not man grieve down?

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